Residents of Suffolk today woke up to the news that Suffolk County Council’s leader, Councillor Colin Noble, has commissioned a report to investigate a proposal to run Suffolk through a single, unitary authority, abolishing the county’s existing district and borough councils.
I must confess that I am shocked that Colin Noble is investing time, money and energy in this idea at a time when local government, not least here at Suffolk County Council, are facing huge financial challenges.
It’s clear that many of the public services delivered by Suffolk County Council are at breaking point – look at the state of our roads, the delivery of adult care and the underfunding of our schools.
Cllr Noble needs to get his own house in order before trying to hoover up more councils around Suffolk.
If is his real motives were to deliver better, more cost efficient services for the residents of Suffolk he would have sought cross-party and cross-council support.
Instead, he has personally commissioned a report, with the cost to the taxpayer estimated at £68,000, without properly consulting with any opposition leaders or fellow Council leaders in Suffolk. In fact, not once have I been asked my opinion or thoughts on the proposal.
Frankly, this opaque, autocratic move is totally unacceptable and should have no place in our county.
Colin Noble previously failed in his manoeuvring to receive a near-coronation as Mayor of East Anglia and it is clear that he still retains lofty ambitions. Is this a sign of things to come?
It’s about time Colin Noble stood up for something other than the interests of Colin Noble and put the residents of Suffolk first.
A ‘One Suffolk’ unitary authority does not herald a new dawn for local government in Suffolk. This is a power grab, plain and simple.
Sarah Adams, Leader of the Labour Group at Suffolk County Council